Business Review Board / June 4, 2018

Big Labor Cheats in Getting Union Into Boeing Plant

A “micro-unit” among machinists has been created in Boeing’s South Carolina plant.

Using under-handed tactics, Big Labor was able to unionize a small band of machinists at Boeing’s plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Last Thursday’s vote of the 178 machinists in the plant — a sliver of the more than 3,000 total workers — has essentially given unions the foot in the door that has been repeatedly closed on organized labor. Just last year, 74% of the Boeing plant’s workforce voted against unionization.

Boeing quickly responded, stating, “Boeing continues to believe that this type of micro-unit is prohibited by federal law. While we are deeply disappointed with the result and are appealing, we will come together as we continue to deliver on our customer commitments.” Boeing has a good case since the union will have an impact plant-wide, where 2,800 workers were not given the same chance to vote.

South Carolina is a right-to-work state, and it has strong laws limiting the power of labor organization. A firm working for Boeing noted that the state’s laws protect workers from being compelled to join or pay dues to a collective bargaining unit.

The Wall Street Journal noted, “The National Labor Relations Board has already acted to end some abuses involving micro unions that emerged in the Obama years. Now the board has an obligation to review this case and assess if it violates the NLRB’s collective-bargaining standards.” It will be interesting to see if the NLRB does in fact act.

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